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Netflix’s new BBFC age ratings to arrive, just in time for Halloween

Netflix has confirmed it is introducing the British Board of Classification’s new age certificates for streaming services… just in time for the Halloween scream-fest.

The streaming giant will be the first to adopt the new ratings system of U, PG, 12/12A, 15 or 18, which will replace the company’s existing maturity ratings in the UK.

The aim is for every piece of content on Netflix to carry the new age rating system, including films and TV shows. The BBFC, which announced the new streaming focused rating system earlier this year, will hope it’ll now be adopted by more of the major players in the realm.

The BBFC chief executive David Austin said (via Sky News): “BBFC chief executive David Austin said: “As the landscape of viewing content changes, so do we. We’re proud to be launching digital symbols for a digital audience, to help them choose content well.”

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Netflix will be allowed to set its own age ratings for its original content, after the BBFC agreed to self-regulation back in March this year. The company plans to use manual tagging as well as an automated rating algorithm, presumably trained to identify violence, bad language, sex and nudity.

“Netflix will produce BBFC age ratings for content using a manual tagging system along with an automated rating algorithm, with the BBFC taking up an auditing role,” an official statement said. “Netflix and the BBFC will work together to make sure Netflix’s classification process produces ratings which are consistent with the BBFC’s Classification Guidelines for the UK.”

BBFC has said its new ratings system has been designed with children in mind, rather than the parents. Its research found that 46% of teenage viewers surveyed have felt uncomfortable or anxious, while a third saw something they didn’t want to in a film or TV program on a weekly basis.

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